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Vision Details

Updated Vision DocumentOld Vision DocumentDefinitionsReferences

Oregon’s limited water supplies are already being shaped by climate and population changes. We must both act now and plan investments for the long term. How we choose to care for our water will determine if we pass a legacy of clean and abundant water for future generations.

Guiding Principles

The following principles were raised during the 2019 Vision outreach process conversations. Some of them mirror principles  in the Integrated Water Resources Strategy (IWRS). Where the concepts are similar, the IWRS principles are referenced. Information gathered through the fall will also be used to update the next IWRS.

While the Vision goals reflect the needs we have for water, our principles guide how people can work together to achieve a secure, safe and resilient water future for all who live here.

Water is an essential but limited resource. We recognize there is not enough water to meet every ‘want.’ We will seek to balance interests across all of our water goals, and recognize the best solutions should address multiple uses. (IWRS Principles - Balance, Sustainability, Interconnection/Integration)

​Water challenges and opportunities vary greatly from region to region across the state. Successful strategic solutions and investments will build on flexible approaches that respect regional differences. These approaches should be both supported and bounded by a state framework, grounded in current water law, with clear policies to define the direction. (IWRS Principles - Science-Based, Flexible Approaches, Implementation, Facilitation by the state)

​Oregon’s water future is best implemented when we work in partnership with the sovereign tribes in Oregon, respecting both treaty rights and tribal cultural connections to water.

​The benefits of clean and reliable water are shared by all who live here, along with our native fish and wildlife. We will build a more equitable water future by ensuring our water decisions and investments are inclusive and transparent, with opportunities for all communities to participate. (IWRS Principles - Public Process)


​Improvements to our infrastructure and ecosystems come with costs.  We will ensure that those costs are not disproportionately borne by those who can least afford it. (IWRS Principles - Reasonable Cost)

Oregon’s water goals can be met in many ways. We recognize that built systems like dams, pipes, levees are only one part of the solution. Natural systems like wetlands, estuaries, and rivers themselves must also be part of Oregon’s water future - both as natural infrastructure that provides clean water for human use, and as the components of a healthy ecosystem for fish and wildlife.

​We support formation of regional, coordinated, and collaborative partnerships that include representatives of local, state, federal, and tribal government, private and non-profit sectors, stakeholders, and the public to plan and invest strategically. (IWRS Principles - Collaboration, Incentives)

Engaged community members and water leaders are key to helping all of us who live in Oregon understand the value water as part of our culture, our communities, and our ecosystems. We will cultivate leaders in communities across Oregon that understand the importance of conserving and keeping our water clean, and recognize the need for coordinated water investments.


Working with creative individuals and businesses across the state, we will invest in innovative solutions that balance the advantages of built, and natural infrastructure, while also protecting ecosystem values.

​The best solutions come when we recognize that both science and local knowledge have value. We will build investment approaches that allow for learning, adaptation, and innovative ideas. (IWRS Principles - Science-Based, Flexible Approaches)

​Public investments in our water future should result in public benefits.